Quitting still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
I still can’t give up the thought that I just needed to hold on a little longer. One day more, a month, what did it matter? In the long run I had already put so much into it, a bit more time was nothing. But it seemed that the rope I had held on to so desperately had whittled itself down to a thread and I was in danger of falling into a chasm of waiting forever. Nothing was given to me at that point to believe holding on was going to make any difference.
So I quit.
I gave up.
That’s okay sometimes, isn’t it? Once you get to a certain point and realize you are more fool than patient, it’s okay to walk away, right? Was I a quitter or did I walk away because I had to? It feels almost like the answer to that would be: both. I had to quit. I would have never stopped if there seemed to be any point in going on, but the only person in the world I needed to tell me to keep going wasn’t saying anything. I’m stubborn. I beat my head against walls every day in pursuit of what is important and meaningful to me, but even I know that after a certain point you are just going to knock yourself out and wake up with a big headache. That brick wall isn’t going to budge no matter how hard you ram your head against it.
But I still can’t help but wonder; what if I had refused to quit? Damn the Hollywood movies that show a guy doing something desperately romantic for his lady love and winning her. I had all of these crazy ideas in my head. I was going to drive to her and make her talk to me, give her an impassioned last minute plea that would make her understand that no one would love her like I did, write her the love letter of all love letters and wrap it around a rock and throw it at her window. Whatever it took.
Then I realized, while all of that worked like a charm in Hollywood, all it would do for me was get me arrested, beat up (by her probably) or gain me a brand new restraining order. Crap. Romantic gestures like that just don’t work in reality. I would have loved to have tried, but the last thing I wanted was to have seemed crazy or scary in some way.
So after I had read what she had said, those words that cut me so invisibly yet so deeply, I sat back – stunned, dejected, hurt, seething, lost, confused, frustrated – and pondered my next move. There was a pressure inside of me as all of these emotions battered me heart and soul and grew like a snowball. The pressure began to leak out and I really had no idea what to do with it. I couldn’t direct it in the direction I wanted. It had become too massive and unwieldy for me to tame.
And so I typed an email. Hit send.
And became a quitter.